What is a CSA anyway and why should I join one in winter?

 

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inspecting the crops
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harvesting summer squash
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view from the sweet corn patch

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a wonderful producer consumer relationship; one in which a consumer agrees to get his/her main source of vegetables for a season from one farm and that farm agrees to produce a diverse range of high quality vegetables. It is a hyper local diet because the farm is oftentimes located in the same county as the consumer and the weekly harvest is dictated by the season (ie sugar snap peas for 2 glorious weeks in June, copious amounts of tomatoes in August, and no sweet potatoes until October–but it’s worth the wait!).

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spring boxes feature greens, fast growing roots, and seasonal treats like garlic scapes
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summer deliveries consist of peppers, tomatoes, beans and other heat loving crops
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fall boxes welcome the return of greens and crops like sweet potatoes and pie pumpkins make their debut

It’s a win win for both the farmer and the consumer. The consumer hears directly about how their food was grown and the freshness and quality of the vegetables usually results in superior tasting food. We often hear things like “I didn’t even realized I liked beets!” and “I don’t even buy greens from the grocery anymore.” The CSA customer is encouraged to try new foods. We hear from CSA members that they eat more vegetables during the 24 week CSA season. They welcome this challenge and enjoy the health benefits that come with it. The farm, in turn, benefits from having a season long relationship it can count on, often beginning in the dead of winter before any seeds are even started!

 

In fact, now is the perfect time to sign up for a CSA! We have a lot of expenses at the front end of the season. Seeds and plants are purchased in January and cost more than $5,000! We are also restocking the farm of all the supplies we’ll need for the season from tomato stakes to fertilizer to irrigation lines. It is much easier to get these supplies in winter before we are too busy managing plants. We also usually have a major piece of equipment to buy each season or a costly project and having funds from CSA members helps pay for these big ticket items. Finally knowing what our CSA membership is before the start of the season helps us plan accordingly.

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equipment like this transplanter are purchased in winter
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at least one farm upgrade, like this new well, happen each year
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seeds are ordered and organized in winter

While we are calling on folks to join now, we recognize that paying upfront doesn’t fit everyone’s budget. We strive to keep our CSA affordable and have several payment options. You can break up the CSA cost into 3 or 7 installments and you can pay with credit card or check.  For those members who can not get through a box of produce every week, we offer a biweekly delivery schedule. You can even place your deliveries on hold if you go out of town so you won’t have to pay for something you’re not going to get. Boxes picked up at a neighborhood pick up location are just $25 a week, farm pick boxes are $23, and home delivered boxes are $29.

Sound good? Sign up HERE today! To see more about our CSA visit here.

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